Wednesday, March 23, 2016


I shared the following devotion over at Laced With Grace today:

In most circle of friends, the topic of repentance isn’t probably one of the most popular topics at hand. In fact, even among Christian friendships, talking about sin is not often heard of even though we live in a sinful world.

Why is repentance not talked about?

Partly, I think we avoid this topic because we don’t want to offend others, but are we more concerned with how we might offend others or with offending God? How long will we accept sin as the norm?

I don’t think today is any different than yesterday when it comes to the discussion of repentance. All throughout the Bible, people were called to repentance; God, Jesus, Paul, even the Prophets all were involved in communicating to others the importance of repenting. Repentance for the record is more than just believing in God, repentance is making a decision for Christ and turning from our old ways.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
God desires for all of us to reach repentance. He is not slow. He does not delay. He is patient towards all of us and shows His mercy as we all fall down daily. Sin is not something to take lightly. Not my sin and not yours.

We, as Believers, must also be patient. It is never our position to condemn, but yet, to love and ask the Holy Spirit to direct our conversations. There is a fine line between pouring it on too thick and sweeping things under the rug. God is awakening my spirit to see the importance of talking about repentance. No longer can we stay silent. People are dying in their sin and they don’t know it!

As we come near Easter weekend, I just want to challenge you to reflect on what repentance looks like to you… and if the blood on the cross is something you care to talk about?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to not stay silent when it comes to allowing the sinful nature of this world to pass by me. May You quicken in me the times I need to speak up against sin. Lead me and all my brothers and sisters to You in true repentance. Change our hearts Oh God. Change our world Oh God! AMEN

Monday, March 21, 2016

DAILY DEVO...who or what do you lean on?

Who or what do you lean on?

Sometimes when you get up and feel weak or weary, it's good to just lean up on a good, sturdy wall to hold yourself up.

People use different things to lean on in times of need or despair. Perhaps a bottle holds the strength for some. While for others strength comes from a friend or a spouse. How strong we are in the face of diversity usually surfaces in who or what we lean upon in such times.

I'm reminded of one year that I went to kids camp. During altar time, our kids were over in a corner, arms stretched out and around each other, leaning on each other back and forth as they sang a Christian version of , "Lean on Me...when you're not strong!" Such a beautiful picture of God's children locking arms, crying out to Him.

It's easy to lean on other things and other people, but do you know where your true strength comes from?

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
(Proverbs 3:5)

The writer of Proverbs and Bill Withers, the writer of the song "Lean on me", (even though not a Christian tune) both give us a clear understanding of why it's important to lean upon God:

"Lean On Me” -song by Bill Withers
Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on

I don't know what you need strength today for...but lean upon God, He will help you to carry on when you are not strong!

Friday, March 18, 2016

TODAY'S DAILY...who's footprints are you following?

When I was a child, I would make a game out of taking walks. My brothers were much older and their strides were always bigger than mine. To keep up I would try to place my foot right into their footprint left in the sand.

Sometimes it was difficult and I would have to stretch myself to reach the bigger step ahead of me.

This image reminds me of how we often try to take steps that we aren't ready for. Instead of taking the stride pace that God has for us, we try to keep up with the guy ahead of us.

“When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'” 1 Kings 19:13 (NIV)

Throughout time, God has been asking the same question to His children. "What are you doing here?"

This question for Elijah was not for God’s benefit and certainly not for His information because God already knew the answer before He even whispered the question.

God had simply designed the question in order to help Elijah come to grips with what he was going to do.

He is doing the same for you and me. He is asking each of us "What are you doing here, (insert your name)?"

This question not only helps me to consider where I am but it challenges me to see where I'm going. Like when I was young; even now my steps may seem unsure or even too short. However, with God leading me I can be assured that each step I take is leading me to where He needs me to go.

Next time you see a footprint in the sand, thank God for the steps He has given you and recognize that stepping ahead of His plan may trip you up in your walk.

PRAYER: Help me recognize Your trustworthy character and trust that You have my best interests in mind. Give me the strength and courage to take the first step toward what You want me to do. AMEN

I hope you prayed that with me today and that each step you take will keep you in-step with where God wants you to be.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Laced With Grace...bloom where you are planted


Like a flower that grows through a crack in the concrete, sometimes we have to just make the best of our situations and bloom right where we have been planted.

I didn’t really understand this concept until someone gave us this wisdom several years ago. After hearing God call us into ministry, we entered a frustrating period knowing the WHAT but not knowing the HOW or the WHEN. When we asked one of the leaders of our denomination, whom we had great respect for and whom was in top leadership for many years what advice they had for us; this is what we got…

“Bloom where you are planted.”

At the time, we thought this advice was crazy; off the rocker and surely not something we expected to hear from such a great leader. But over time, THIS was exactly what we needed to hear and what we needed to do.

You see, not all of us are where we want to be in life quite yet. Not everyone can just quit their 9 to 5 job to chase their dream. Most of the time achieving a dream takes time, perseverance and alot of hard work. We may not be exactly where we want to be or even where God wants us to be, but instead of becoming bitter or frustrated with our progress, why not make the best of our situation.

Whether you know this or not, every step that you take prepares you for the next step. Each chapter in our life is building a foundation to launch the very next chapter. No good book jumps to the ending right away, you have to work yourself thru the chapters first, taking in each adventure as it leads to the finale.

I love the famous quote from Maya Angelou, even though it isn’t spiritual, it is descriptive of spiritual maturity…
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude about it.” -Maya Angelou
We live in a culture where we like to blame others. The blame game card has been played ever since the garden when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake. The truth is, we can never expect others to change, we must learn to change ourselves and let God change the rest. And until He turns the page in your yet to be told story, don’t blame yourself or others … just bloom where you are planted.

Be content. Be patient. Be ready.
“Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you.” -1 Corinthians 7:17
Never assume that you are in the wrong place, perhaps God has you right where He wants you for


Thursday, March 3, 2016

LACED WITH GRACE....have you hung up your harp?

Nobody likes change.

I don't really know why change is so difficult for us. Perhaps it is because adapting to new things is difficult or could it be that anything out of the norm for us is just too hard to identify with? I don't know what the answer is for you, but for me, some change is easy and some change not so much.
I've recently seen some changes in my life. About 6 weeks ago, I decided in order to improve my health, I better make some changes. I put the cokes down, left the fast food lane and picked up a new eating routine. Fruits, Vegetables and lots of water combined with some exercise has really made a difference in my life.

Was the change easy? No way! The first and second week was BAD, but now that I am six weeks into this "change", I can actually see the benefits.

Sometimes when we travel into things that seem foreign to us, we get lost or get frustrated and just want to throw our hands up and QUIT! You don't think I've wanted to quit in the past 6 weeks? Sure I have. Those weeks that I've weighed in and instead of losing I actually gained ... I wanted to quit. When people close to me got irritated at me for always counting my calories and not wanting to order pizza ... I wanted to quit and be more like the norm. I wanted to come back to what I once knew, what I was comfortable with.

But God has reminded me in this journey that sometimes He will lead us into a place that may seem like a foreign land but He will be the One to decide when enough is enough! The children of Israel experienced this...

When the Babylonians swept through their country, taking them captive and burning down Jerusalem and tearing down the holy temple, those held captive sat down and wept and hung up their harps on the willow trees. Their frustration and feeling of defeat was growing even more great as the Babylonians tormented them by saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" Those captive, who felt like quitting, replied...
"How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?" (Psalm 137:4)
Sometimes we can get so off balance with our thinking and even our "doing" when things seem strange to us. When things get out of our comfort zone we often regress or pull back or just hang up whatever gift that God has given us. I remember a time, just a few years ago, that I became so discouraged in my ministry. In fact, because of negativity and discouragement that was being fed into me and spoken over me, I just wanted to walk away. And I did for a short while, I hung up my harp.
Ever so gently one day, God asked me an important question and I would like to ask you the same ..."When did I (God) give you permission to hang up your harp?"

I don't know what kind of season of change you may be experiencing in your life or your ministry. But if you have crossed a path that makes you want to quit or just hang it up, take into consideration that it may not be time for your music to stop. Change isn't always bad, even if it feels alittle uncomfortable, your change may be influencing someone else for the good. So keep your harp in hand and keep on keeping on until God says "no more".

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for giving me the gifts and talents that only You have given to me! Even though I may feel like I have gotten to a place of change, may I see that You and You alone empower me to embrace this climb. Help me to not give up, to not throw in the towel, help me to NOT quit until You say it is time. Thank you for placing my harp in my hands, may it be a pleasing and joyful sound to Your ear. AMEN

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

DAILY you hear the alarm? gotta love them or hate them! When my alarm goes off before I'd like it to, it can really become annoying. It doesn't matter how many times I hit snooze, that "beep beep beep" keeps irritating me until I finally do something about It! (Get up or unplug it!)

Here’s what I’ve discovered about alarms: the effectiveness of any alarm depends on how much we don’t want to hear it. In other words, until our desire to not hear the alarm outweighs our des...ire to keep sleeping—we simply will not wake up.

Likewise, a sudden awakening will take place when God finally gets our attention. The alarm sounds, and this time we hear it. We immediately become aware of our present circumstances and the reality that something must change.

The Prodigal Son experienced this in Luke 15. After taking his inheritance money from his father, wasting it and reduced to feeding pigs, the Bible tells us the son, “came to his senses …”

At this point the son sat straight up and suddenly realized what his life had become. When he ran away, he’d never thought his journey would have that ending. But now life had his attention, and he knew things had to change. He heard the alarm sounding.

Have you ever had a moment like this? The Holy Spirit opens your eyes, and you see something that you had somehow missed before. You have a startling realization that something has to change, you realize that you can no longer do things in your own strength. This is your alarm sounding.

The question is: what will you do about it...Will you wake up or will you ignore the beeping that God is stirring within you?

Don't hit the snooze button on God; wake up and receive all that He has for you today!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

TODAY'S DAILY...Fate or the Divine Will of God?

Since 2007 I have been writing Christian devotions and I have had the awesome privilege of sharing them on several Christian websites including my own personal blog.

Throughout this 9 year journey I have met a lot of great godly women but only thru my writing, never face to face. Until last night.

As I sat across the table from my dear cyber friend for the first time, feeling like we had done this a million times, I couldn't help thinking how some may think this meeting was fate.

But was it?

According to the Bible, we live our lives for a certain period of time; not a moment longer and not a moment shorter.

Solomon wrote, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot" (Ecclesiastes 3:1–2). 

I don't believe in fate. What I do believe in is the perfect timing and the perfect will of God. As Solomon observed, there is a season for everything. We are not victims of the fickle finger of fate or dumb luck. If you are a Christian, then you have come into God's providence, which means that He will guide and direct your steps. It means that your times are in His hands.

It was no accident that my path crossed all those years ago with my blogging buddy. Everything we have experienced together brought us to this moment; God's plan.

You see 9 years ago I had no idea that I would be co-pastoring a church with my husband and my friend had no idea that she and her husband would become a missionary to Bolivia. But God knew and it wasn't fate that brought us together but His divine plan.

I can't wait to see how we can invest in the lives of someone in Bolivia. God's plan is so much bigger than fate!